If you came to the Queensland Outback and found inflatable sharks, noisy two-stroke engines, racing goldfish and smashed eggs on the ground you weren’t in a bad nightmare, you were at Camooweal’s famous Australia Day lawnmower racing.
Now in its fourth year the day the brings out the victorious Victas and the dearest John Deeres to the lane next to the Camooweal Post Office hotel for an afternoon of chaos and fun and games.
A ring in team from the territory won the grand prize this year.
Trish Parker and son Lane live on Dorisvale station 90 minutes out of Katherine and Trish said she never heard of the Camooweal Lawnmower Races until the very day of the race.
“We were driving back home from visiting relatives in Clermont and Caloundra and called in to have a beer because my other son Daniel worked at Barkly Downs around here,” Trish said
“They told us about the race and said there’s a spare lawnmower if you want to take part.”
They did and won with a little help from MC Will Seymour despite him claiming he would add 30 minutes to their finish time because “they were on NT time”.
But Mr Seymour balanced out his chicanery in the chicane by throwing away the mower ignition key of one their rivals.
On the day there was also egg and spoon racing and thong throwing for the kids and this year there was a new addition with goldfish racing for a grand prize.
Organised by Shoey Shoemyster of Floorworx Mount Isa, the “World Cup 2600mm sprint series” brought together 16 goldfish, bought by local syndicates in the pre-race Calcutta and then raced along the 2.6m sprint course aided by some bubble blowing by the winning syndicate “jockey” just in case the fish decided to swim in the other direction.
In knockout fashion they were whittled down to two finalists with the winner scooping 20 per cent of the prize pool and the rest – and the goldfish themselves and their grand tank – going to Camooweal State School.